It was warm and calm in the wide sunny bends, and cool and shady and quite windy (some sort of venturi effect) when hiking through particularly narrow bits. We selected a sunny ledge just a few feet from transition into shade for our lunch break - that way we could easily manage our temperature.
Small stand of Cottonwoods
It was getting on about three and a half hours since we had started up through the narrows, and based on our location on the map, we were close to completing the loop. However, the large and sinuous bends made a precise determination of actual distance remaining a bit difficult.
These last few bends had some nice high, broad benches of hard sand, more than safe enough to camp on except in the most dire of wet weather situations. One in particular was quite big and was almost entirely underneath a particularly huge and impressive overhanging alcove of rock.
Andrew treks up Halls Creek
Shimmering Desert Reflections
Beyond the huge overhanging alcove, the canyon started to widen out. Coming around a bend, I saw in the distance a red wall that was clearly not Navajo Sandstone, and soon realized that we were looking at the long straight cliff along the western edge of Hall Mesa. This meant we were pretty much done with the narrows, and sure enough, after another 10 minutes of walking (now on a defined herdpath away from the creek bed), we turned a corner and saw our little green tents. Loop completed.
The entire loop, even at our fairly leisurely pace, had only taken us about 5 hours and 45 minutes. The total distance had been just under 7 miles (11km) and the elevation gain had been minimal, almost negligable. All in all, a very easy, very beautiful hiking day.
The short hiking time meant that we had arrived back at the tents shortly after 2pm. The rest of the afternoon went by pretty lazily, mostly consisting of napping, lounging, or reading.
After dinner, I took a bit of time to scout out and map the northern end of the good footpath we took over Hall Pass in the morning... Just in case anyone wants to have a GPS track of the proper route, rather than the slight variation we had taken.
Start of Halls Divide footpath
We had heard that the weather was about to change overnight, with a cold front passing through. It had been fairly pleasant so far on our backpack... with highs in the 60s and low 70s (about 20C). Overnight, it was due to drop down to within throwing distance of the freezing point, with very strong winds layered on top. We carefully secured all of our gear and the tents as best we could.
Interactive trackmap with photo points - Halls Creek Narrows Day 2 - click map to view
Halls Creek Narrows Day 2 - Hike Data
* : +/- 75 feet
Total Elevation Gain:
Total Elevation Loss:
* : +/- 75 feet